Most people will experience some type of back pain at some point in their lives but for most, it lasts only a few days or weeks. It could result from moving furniture, gardening, or even turning the wrong way. Usually the pain responds to home remedies such as ice packs, rest, and over the counter pain medication. Chronic upper back pain is very different because it is pain lasting three or more months and never completely goes away. Some of the causes of chronic pain include diseases, surgeries, injuries, and syndromes but in many cases, there is no identifiable cause. Chronic upper back pain is very difficult to deal with because nobody can understand another person’s pain. Each individuals pain is interpreted and feeling generated by his or her own brain and body. People suffering from chronic upper back pain will need to find coping strategies and therapies to help them manage and live with their pain so it does not become their focus in life. For many patients, the best chronic upper back pain therapy is a combination of treatments that are specific to their situation and requirements.
The first step towards finding relief from chronic upper back pain is to talk to your doctor and have a thorough medical exam and tests to find the cause of your pain. Once your physician has discovered the cause of your chronic upper back pain, follow his or her recommended therapies to reduce your pain. Never start a homecare or exercise program without discussing it with your physician first.
Exercise is important in managing some types of chronic upper back pain since it helps keep tension to a minimum and strengthen muscles. An exercise program may consist of aerobic workouts, stretching, strength training, and flexibility. It is best to work with your doctor and a physical therapist or a professional personal trainer to help you with an exercise program specifically designed to meet your needs.
Some of the types of skills that can help you cope with chronic upper back pain are deep muscle relaxation, dissociation, and imagery. Relaxation training involves deep, slow breathing and concentration, to relieve pain and release tension from your muscles. Although it does require practice, it is a good way to release muscle tension and take the focus off your chronic upper back pain. Visual distraction and imagery involves centering on mental pictures of happy events or scenes to reduce pain. Hypnosis either by a therapist or by self-hypnosis can help reduce a patient’s pain and help them relax.